Previously, Non-Surgical Thyroid Radio Frequency Ablation was not well-known or studied. This led to many surgeons relying on potentially harmful and invasive surgeries to treat thyroid conditions. These include high-intensity frequency ablation (HIFU), microwave ablation, laser ablation, thyroidectomies, and more.
However, recent decades have brought large quantities of research to the forefront of thyroid treatment. Now it’s possible to treat benign and malignant thyroids with minimal complications or risks.
Specifically, radiofrequency ablation is a non-invasive, minimally scarring procedure that doesn’t require extended hospitalization. Keep reading to understand how radiofrequency ablation works and why it’s so effective in the modern treatment of enlarged thyroid nodules.
Radiofrequency ablation destroys parts of the thyroid nodule that are overgrown. It involves using a radiofrequency generator and imaging system to visualize the thyroid gland during ablation. It can be performed by general surgeons, endocrinologists, and other qualified medical practitioners.
Radiofrequency ablation can be used for both toxic and pre-toxic thyroid nodules. In some contexts, thermal ablation can be used to treat other tissues.
The best practice for performing thermal ablation is something called the moving shot technique. Using the electrode probe, the physician moves the device back and forth in the patient’s thyroid nodule.
With methodical movement, overgrown sections of the thyroid nodule are ablated piece by piece. The surgeon should move from anterior to posterior and change planes after one plane is ablated. This allows you to ablate all unnecessary tissue without affecting surrounding tissues.
As an outpatient procedure, the patient is typically able to leave your office in around half an hour after a short monitoring period.
Several studies have been conducted showing the efficacy and safety of radiofrequency ablation:
In 2021, a study confirmed that thyroid nodules can be reduced significantly with thermal ablation.
The European Thyroid Journal found that thyroid RFA reduced as much as 93% of thyroid nodule volume, as well as eliminating neoplasia.
In a large study reviewing over 1,500 thyroid nodules, 99.8% of patients had a full recovery. Only 0.2% of them had permanent side effects. Only 3.3% reported any side effects at all.
Both pre-toxic and toxic thyroid nodules can be treated effectively with radiofrequency thermal ablation, according to the National Library of Medicine. It also found an average reduction in size of 79.4% when conducting 24-month follow-ups.
Just as significantly, no patients observed had hyperthyroidism post-therapy. And every patient had their compressive symptoms improved.
Zero patients with pre-toxic thyroid nodules experienced hyperthyroidism. Only one patient was required to continue the methimazole therapy after ablation. The fact that no complications or hospitalizations were observed lends credence to the safety of thermal ablation.
Thyroid frequency ablation can be completed in as little as 15 to 45 minutes. This depends on the size of the thyroid nodule. When compared to surgery or other thyroid treatments, this offers significant time savings.
Neoplasia and the recurrence of hyperthyroidism are incredibly minimal after RFA therapy. The results appear to last for several years, if not permanently.
Medical providers can both treat their patients safely while enjoying cost savings. With RF thermal ablation, machinery costs around $20,000. However, HIFU machines begin at a $20,000 minimum and can cost as much as $250,000.
Since patients can leave 20 to 30 minutes after the procedure, no overnight stays are necessary. This reduces the strain on your staff and medical facility.
Thyroidectomies or other invasive procedures leave large scars on the patient’s throat or neck. Obviously, this aesthetic disadvantage means these procedures should be reserved for emergency use cases only.
Furthermore, other operations can be much more costly both to the medical provider and to the patient, even with insurance. Finally, complications can arise the more invasive a procedure is.
Using a very minuscule puncture wound to place the electrode needle into the thyroid nodule leads to much less risk. It is highly unlikely to damage surrounding structures or tissues with RF ablation, unlike traditional therapies.
It’s important to use specialized, high-quality equipment for performing radiofrequency ablation for thyroid nodules. This commonly includes an imaging probe, imaging monitor, local anesthetic, electrode probe, and RF generator.
At RGS Healthcare, we provide radio frequency generators and high-quality imaging systems to allow proper ablation levels and full visibility during the therapy. For example, the E-Cube i7 allows you to see the electrode probe and maintain the proper plane orientation throughout the entire procedure.
Thus, you neither undertreat nor overtreat the thyroid nodule. Additionally, our RF generator (MyGen V1000) is the best machine of its kind currently available.
Preset algorithms allow you to use the precise amount of ablation or heat necessary for your thyroid procedure. If you require the use of this machine for other tissues such as lungs, kidneys, or bones, you can also select those settings for appropriate ablation levels.
For pre-toxic, toxic, hot, or cold thyroid nodules, invasive surgeries are no longer necessary. Physicians and surgeons can now provide their patients with enhanced outcomes and minimal complications — utilizing precision, effectiveness, and algorithmic control.
Thyroid ablation is more effective and less risky than ever before. Speak with the experts at RGS Healthcare now.
We’ll help you understand the best equipment and techniques to utilize. That way, you can ensure your patient’s thyroid nodules don’t grow back or cause lifestyle complications going forward. Contact us here today for more information.